A Letter From Burgundy

September 16, 2012

Lest We Forget

Filed under: Events and markets,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Lesley @ 19:44

Each year, on a wooded hillside just outside the hamlet of Lavault, near Epinac, there is a remembrance ceremony for the four young RAF airmen who died when their Halifax bomber crashed. They were dropping supplies to the local French Resistance and unfortunately failed to clear the hill in the dark.

The four who died were Owen Smith-Pilot, William Christie-Co-Pilot, Sonny Solomon-Navigator and Alan Laverick-Bombardier. The other two crew members, Royle and Bathey survived despite the plane breaking into three parts on impact.

The dead were given a military funeral with full honours in Epinac despite the presence of German occupation forces.

Every year on the first Saturday after the 11th of September French dignitaries, local residents, members of the ex-pat community and relatives of the airmen meet on the site of the crash to commemorate their sacrifice.